Able to stop a speeding bullet with the palm of his hand, the baddest man in Harlem has returned in the new trailer for Marvel’s Luke Cage Netflix series. Building on the buzz created by the first clip and the teaser shown at Comic-Con, the new trailer frames up the battle for Harlem and gives the legendary Hero for Hire a clear origin.
The clip reveals crime lord Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (played by Mahershala Ali, a standout in the recent Moonlight) tightening his grip on Harlem. But a deadly barbershop drive-by he organized results in the unintended birth of his nemesis. Luke Cage (Mike Colter, last seen playing the character on Netflix’s interconnected Jessica Jones) springs into action, shielding a bystander from a spray of bullets. The medics wonder how a man could emerge from a hail of gunfire unscathed. “Blood everywhere, none of it his. He has bullet holes in his shirt. How did he not get hit?”
Reprising her role from Jessica Jones, Rosario Dawson guides Cage as his close friend Claire Temple. She’s the one who urges him, “There’s nothing that can hurt you. So what the hell are you afraid of?” Blessed with a gift and determined to keep the streets he loves safe, Cage takes up the hero’s cause and wages a one-man war to wrest control from Cottonmouth. But even as he cleans up Harlem, Cage struggles with his new identity as a defender.
And to double down on the show’s hip-hop bona fides (the shot placing Biggie’s iconic crown on Cottonmouth’s head is a fun touch), Cage has a chance encounter with the Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man while busting up a convenience store stickup. “You a XXL?” Cage asks the noted rapper, hoping to switch sweatshirts. “Way ahead of you, homey,” Meth responds. Harlem’s in good hands.
The first season of Luke Cage comes to Netflix September 30th.